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Compiled by Messenger Staff
Wednesday, July 21
Manana Nikolaishvili: teachers are being blackmailed

Manana Nikolaishvili, President of the League of Education, states in an interview with Alia that, "Teachers are being personally summoned. Not only members of the school administrations are involved in this process but local governments, local boards and law enforcement structures are all blackmailing teachers and their family members. They are directly pressurised by these people.

"There is a very dangerous trend of pressurising Armenians living in Akhalkalaki. Two Armenian teachers from Akhalkalaki have approached me, Nazeli Demurchiani, teacher of biology at Akhalkalaki 4th School and Karina Muradiani, teacher of physics and mathematics at Akhalkalaki 1st School. Both had been fired by oral decree after being summoned by the head of the Akhalkalaki local government and told to ‘repent’ of helping the National Council," Manana Nikolaishvili says.

"Those women gave us the text of their so-called ‘repentance’ – ‘we made a great mistake on not supporting the National Movement, we will not do it again’. Those women were fired from their jobs after the elections but were promised their jobs back after their repentance. According to my information about 70 teachers have been fired and more than 70 obliged to write out their so-called ‘repentance’. The majority of these are ethnic Armenians employed at Georgian-language schools, those at Russian-language schools are not being affected by this.

"I just wonder why they fire teachers from Georgian schools and not Russian ones. Who are they afraid of? Those 70 fired teachers turned out to be Armenians. Do you know what this means?.... This is blackmail under the guise of ‘repentance’. But there are also different methods of blackmailing teachers in Tbilisi under the guise of ‘defame a teacher’, Nikolaishvili says.

"Do you remember when a pupil complained that another pupil had been beaten by their teacher? I do not justify beating pupils, it is inadmissible, but that pupil had thrown a wild plum stone at that teacher. This was a planned provocation by the school directorate. Pupils are instructed to provoke teachers and another pupil broadcasts everything. The two pupils participate in defaming a teacher," Manana Nikolaishvili explains. Alia has contacted Koba Davitashvili, leader of the People’s Party and member of the National Council, but he did not make any comment. Nino Portzhebskaya, head of the Press Service of the Ministry of Education, would not comment either.

Central Election Commission meets District Election Commission representatives

The CEC has held a meeting DEC representatives, 24 Saati reports. Representatives and trainers of the Rustavi, Bolnisi, Dmanisi, Gardabani, Tsalka, Tetritskaro, Marneuli, Mtskheta, Tianeti, Dusheti, Kazbegi and Zemo Abkhazia District Election Commissions were involved. The aim of this meeting was to talk about the election code reforms and to hear the recommendations of the DEC representatives.

The participants of the meeting discussed the shortcomings revealed during the May 30 local elections and the problems with media relations revealed during the campaign. The shortcomings should be resolved during the non-election period, according to CEC officials.

The meeting was organised and financially supported by the UNDP project Promoting Dialogue and Capacity for Effective National Electoral Process.